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Switzerland in November

Old Oct 19th, 2005, 06:52 AM
  #1  
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Switzerland in November

Whatis a good 6 day trip to see Switzerland's beauty and quaint villages and avoiding big cities(Zurich, geneva etc.)
It would be from Nov 6-13 thanks!
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 07:12 AM
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Many people here can suggest lots of small Swiss towns that fit your bill. My favorite is Gimmelwald, a tiny farming village of about 100 people. It sits next to the Schilthorn above the Lauterbrunnen valley in the Berner Oberland. Traffic-free, rustic, and perfect. Pictures:

http://spaces.msn.com/members/goflah...02_owner=1&_c=


http://www.gimmelwald.com/
http://www.gimmelwald-news.ch/english/index.html
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 09:06 AM
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Because of Switzerland's compact size and excellent public transport connections, you should be able to cover several places in 6 days. I would agree with Edward2005 in recommending the Berner Oberland, but would also add the Wallis region in the south and the French-speaking areas in the west. If you are keen to avoid Geneva but still see quaint little villages, try visiting some of the smaller places dotted along the edge of Le Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) near Lausanne. I was grape picking in a place called Lutry last October and the terraced vineyards overlooking the lake in some of the little towns are amazingly beautiful. The Italian part of Switzerland, in the south, is also gorgeous and possibly worth a visit.
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 09:27 AM
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rex
 
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Welcome to the Europe forum (and good job, re-posting with an informative message header - - glad to see that you got that advice from elaine!)

The search function here - - often maligned - - actually CAN help you retrieve some previous threads that will likely be helpful to you. You may want to try some different combinations of search words: "Switzerland scenery" or "Switzerland November" or "Switzerland villages"

Here are a few to get you started:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34675974

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34657738

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34656207

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 09:28 AM
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Someone on another post said Gimmelwald was quite small and could be seen very quickly. Would Lucern and Lussane be good bases?
Would Zermat or St Moritz not be good b/c they are really just ski resorts?
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 09:45 AM
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Quaint? Drive through the Emmental area or the Appenzell area. Both areas are incredible quaint, traditional and very beautiful.

November is really iffy with the weather. Check out the weather forecast and follow the weather. Sometimes it rains in Berner Oberland but is sunny in Wallis.
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 09:47 AM
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Neither Lucerne or Lausanne are small villages. St. Moritz is great, but even better are some of the smaller towns around that area (and easy to get to by train). Zuoz is a good example. The tricky thing is November can be an "iffy" time, weatherwise. It's likely to rain a lot.

If you are interested in Lausanne, consider one of the smaller towns on Lake Geneva.
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 10:55 AM
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If you are interested in Lac Leman region outside Geneva (which is gorgeous IMO), I would suggest Vevey or Montreux instead of Lausanne for your base because they are smaller and somewhat more 'quaint'. Realize these are good sized towns at lake level not villages in the mountains.
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 11:23 AM
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Are some areas rainier than others in November?
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 12:12 PM
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All areas can be rainy but it doesn't always rain simultaneously to check the weather forecast.

It can also be very foggy. If the fog is low...head for the hills...or better said the mountains. You'll get blue skies and a sea of fog below.
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 12:32 PM
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How hard is it to cancel reservations? I'm afraid it will be raining where I make them and gorgeous where I didn't!
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 01:56 PM
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"How hard is it to cancel reservations? I'm afraid it will be raining where I make them and gorgeous where I didn't!"

This brings up a good point. Maybe you should keep your itinerary flexible. If the weather is great when you get there, then go straight for the mountains. Otherwise, head to Lake Geneva or elsewhere. November isn't peak season, so you should have no problem finding a good place to stay without reservations.

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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 04:03 PM
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I spent a couple weeks in Vevey and Montreux one November. It was cold (need wool coat and boots) and sometimes rainy, sometimes clear. I'm sure you won't have problems finding hotels so you could keep your itinerary open and check the weather. Unfortunately there is a good chance you could get rained on most anywhere that time of year, I believe. If you can go in the summer-time instead, but honestly even then I have gotten rained on now and then.
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 04:47 PM
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Switzerland does get a fair amount of rain all year, its one of their little secrets, like numbered bank accounts. . . . As noted above, November is not the best time of year for either the lower elevation towns like Zurich and Lucerne, or the mountain towns. It can be freezing in Zurich and Lucerne in November (I lived in Zurich for 4 years). It can be even colder in the mountains as well, or just wet, cool and foggy. It is too early for skiing and too late for fall walking. It would be a shame to go all the way to Zermatt and not see the Matterhorn for the fog or the snow. Take a look at weatherbase.com for typical temps and precipitation.

Also be sure to take a look at the closure dates for hotels you might be interested in, as many hotels in the mountains are closed in from mid-October and don't open up again until Christmas. Same with some restaurants. Places in the Lake Geneva area, Lucerne, Zurich, etc are fine, and many hotels in Zermatt remain open, but many hotels in the Bernese Oberland/Jungfrau area are closed. (However in Zermatt, all the wonderful Seiler hotels are closed and in St Mortiz the better hotels like the Suvretta House and Budrutt's Palace are closed.) You can do this now by clicking on "Hotels" above and choosing "Europe" then "Switzerland" and taking a look at particular hotels, you will notice many in the Bernese Oberland and Grabunden/St Mortiz group (including many perennial favorites on this board like the Alpenrose in Wengen) that are closed in the fall and spring months (which have the same weather issues).

If I had a choice, I would avoid Switzerland in November, but if you have no choice, then IMO you are much better off in the Lake Geneva area which is not in the mountains but looks over to them, and is in a little bit of a sun bowl and has a kind of microclimate. It is also extremely beautiful.
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 05:34 PM
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This may be a dumb question, but since I already have my R/T tickets to Zurich, am I better off just taking a train to France or Italy? All of this rain talk is scaring me off...I don't want to travel around rainy/cloudy Switzerland for a week!
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 05:43 PM
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Hey Peterad -- there's never bad weather, only bad clothes.

Don't worry about it and have a great time!!!
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 07:26 PM
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November is not a great month in Europe in general, it is cold and wet in many places and prone to fog. It is like November on the east coast of the US, but if you are prepared for it mentally and dress-wise, it is fine. IMO you are better off in cities where there is more to do inside and weather is not such a factor. Switzerland has so much outdoor beauty and your enjoyment can therefore be very much affected by the weather that to see it when it is not at its best is kind of a shame. I am not saying not to go, but if you are expecting either snowy mountain villages or window boxes full of geraniums and walking through sunny Alpine forests, I am afraid you will not find either in November. The Lake Geneva area of Vevey, Montreux, Lausanne are good choices, although they are about a 3 hour train ride from Zurich. Zurich and Lucerne are OK, albeit colder. Berne and Basel are possibilities as well, but temps will be cool to cold also. Paris is about 6 hours by train from Zurich, Milan is about 4 hours, Florence about 6 hours. No place will be warm and sunny days are rare in my experience. You could also fly from Zurich to other destinations in Italy like Rome or to Paris or other cities in Europe. I would not go to Venice as it tends to be prone to flooding in November.
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Old Oct 20th, 2005, 02:43 AM
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Hi. Did you say if you'll be traveling by train? If so, I'd consider three nights on Lac Leman (staying in Lausanne, Cully, Lutry, or Vevey; Lutry and Cully the smallest) and three nights in Lucerne. Both are excellent for rail connections for daytrips rain or shine. From Lac Leman you can train to Bern with its arcaded streets and from Lucerne you can daytrip to Lugano in the south. J.
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Old Oct 20th, 2005, 04:12 AM
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Peterad: Switzerland might be beautiful in November too. Last year, we had an incredible warm beg. December. I was wearing T-shirts during my hikes with no coat.

You just never know.

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Old Oct 20th, 2005, 04:16 AM
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Thanks for all of the helpful advice. The cold doesn't bother me at all, it's just the fog/rain.
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